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Genet Mol Res. 2015 Dec 29;14(4):19080-6. doi: 10.4238/2015.December.29.16.

Expression profiles of MMP-1 and TIMP-1 in lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration.

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Department of Bone Surgery, Zoucheng People's Hospital, Zoucheng, Shandong Province, China.
Department of Bone Surgery, Affliated Hospital of Jining Medical College, Jining, Shandong Province, China.
Department of Spine Surgery, Shandong Province Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan.
Shandong University School of Medicine, Jinan, Shandong Province, China.


Lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is a common clinical pathology and has become a focus for research in recent years. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are enzymes responsible for the degradation of almost all extracellular matrix proteins (ECM). The over-expression of MMPs or tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) may disrupt the dynamic balance of the ECM. Therefore, in the current study, the expression levels of MMP-1 and TIMP-1 in lumbar IDD patients were evaluated in an attempt to elucidate their role in IDD pathogenesis and progression. In total, 60 IDD patients were recruited as the experimental group, along with 20 cases of lumbar vertebral injury without disc degeneration as the control group. Preoperative venous blood samples were collected, and intervertebral disc tissues were collected from the lesion during surgery. Serum and tissue levels of MMP-1 and TIMP-1 were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunohistochemical staining, respectively. Serum and tissue MMP-1 levels in IDD patients were significantly higher than those in the control group (P < 0.05). Additionally, sub-group analysis revealed that severe IDD patients had higher MMP-1 levels compared with mild or moderate IDD patients (P < 0.05). However, there were no significant differences in TIMP- 1 levels in either the serum or tissues of IDD patients compared to patients in the control group (P > 0.05). These results demonstrate that MMP-1 expression is increased in IDD, with higher expression observed in more severe cases, whereas TIMP-1 expression was similarly expressed in both normal and degenerated discs.

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